European Champion, Commonwealth Champion and World silver medalist, Fran Halsall is fast becoming one of the World’s biggest names in Sprint swimming. At the 2010 European Championships she became Britain's most successful swimmer at a single European Championships. Fran then emulated this at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi when she medaled in five events again, more than any other athlete on the English team. Fran is one of the best looking British female athletes in any Olympic sport. She is also a great character with a vivacious personality.
Fran is the current British Record holder in the 100m and 50m freestyle, as well as the 50m butterfly. Fran began swimming at seven years old and by the age of 15 she was representing the British senior team and qualified to compete in her first Commonwealth Games in Melbourne where she came 4th in the 100m freestyle. She also swam the anchor legs for the 100m freestyle relay team and the medley relay team winning 2 Silver medals. In the same year, at the European Long Course Championships, she came 4th in the 100m freestyle and anchored the medley team to Gold in a British record time.
At the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing Fran qualified for the final of 3 out of the 6 events she competed in setting a new British Record in the 100m individual freestyle as well as helping break the British Record in the 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay.
In 2009 Fran started with a new coach and a heavier training schedule than ever before. This new regime brought her extra strength, which showed at the World Championship 100m freestyle final in Rome when she powered to a silver medal ahead of former World and Olympic Champion Lisbeth Trickett.
At the 2010 European Championships Fran won her first individual senior international title in the 100m freestyle as well as taking Gold in the 4x100m medley relay, Silver in the 100m butterfly, Silver in the 4x100m freestyle relay and Bronze in the 50m freestyle; with 5 medals in 5 events Fran became the most successful British Swimmer ever at a European Championships. Despite suffering with “Delhi Belly”, Fran went on to repeat this 5 medal success at the Commonwealth Games.
After surgery on her ankle led to a disrupted 2011 winter, Fran put in some solid swims at the World Championships in Shanghai in July 2011 where she finished 4th in both the 50m and 100m freestyle. 2012 started well for Fran, after an impressive week at the British Championships saw her qualify for the Olympics in all 3 of her individual events (100m & 50m freestyle & 100m butterfly). In London 2012 she competed in more events than anyone else in Team GB and successfully made the final in four of them, finishing 5th in both the 4x100m freestyle relay and the 50m freestyle.
After a tough Olympics, 2013 saw Fran take ownership of her future; James Gibson became her coach at Loughborough, and the pair focused primarily on the 50m swims. With a solid winter behind her, and some promising swims throughout the season, Fran entered the World Championships with renewed hunger. After breaking the British Record in the prelims of the 50m butterfly with a time of 25.69 seconds, Fran only narrowly missed out on a medal in the final. During the last session in Barcelona, Fran produced an impressive swim in the 50m freestyle final to secure bronze, and take home Britain's first and final medal of the Championships.